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Digital Computers will Always be Machines

I believe I can make this categorical statement about the lack of capacity for agency in Deep Blue and comparable systems, because they are entirely, or at core, digital. Since they are digital, we know that they are fully deterministic; there is no behavior they can exhibit that is not reliably traceable, after the fact, to some external source. The source could be the programmer, or a stimulus from the environment, or a combination, but is always external to the digital system.

However, robotic agency is far from a simple issue. In recent years, some members of the AI research community have been pursuing directions other than conventional symbolic/'Strong AI', focusing instead on embodied intelligence, or 'situated AI'. Here, the objective is to create robots whose intelligence is a result of their physicality and environment (while also having a computational component).

Email link | Printer-friendly | Feedback | Contributed by: Adrian Wyard

Digital Computers will Always be Machines

Agency: Human, Robotic and Divine
Techniques for Identifying Agency
Agency in Machines, Biology, and Humans
Machines and Beings
Robotic Agency
Embodied Robotics and Emergent Behaviors
No Thinking Necessary?
Divine Agency
Downward Causation
The World as God’s Body
Divine Information


Adrian Wyard

See also:

What Makes us Human?
Are we Free?
Does God Act?
Books on Information Technology